Boss admits Haas ‘B’ car coming in Austin

Gunther Steiner has confirmed reports that Haas will try to end its performance crisis with a ‘B’ car at the team’s home US GP in Austin.

After re-signed driver Nico Hulkenberg was scathing in his criticism of the 2023 single seater after a dismal performance at Monza, reports emerged that Red Bull’s dominant concept would be used as the template of a radical upgrade package.

“I don’t think I can confirm that,” Hulkenberg’s teammate Kevin Magnussen smiled in Singapore.

“But there’s certainly a lot of stuff we’re trying to bring to the car. Whether it’s B-spec or not, I don’t know. But it’s a lot of stuff and it’s exciting.

“I don’t know exactly when it’s due to arrive, but hopefully sooner rather than later,” the Dane added.

Team boss Steiner, however, was more forthcoming in confirming the reports, revealing that after a fallow year of in-season development, Haas has the money for the upgrade.

“The car will change quite a lot,” he said. “We will change the concept, although of course we will have certain limitations with our chassis.

“But we’re going to try to follow the same path that most teams have chosen. The package is coming to Austin and will be the biggest change we have implemented during a season.”

Steiner admits Haas’ original plan may have been to hold back the upgrades until they could debut aboard a brand new chassis for 2024.

“But we now want to use the opportunity to learn as much as possible this season and incorporate the knowledge into our development for next year,” he said.

“You have to take risks, and it is now worth the risk because we can find out what our change of direction in the concept brings.”

Hulkenberg’s biggest complaint after Monza was that Haas didn’t even take a special low-downforce front wing package to the Italian GP – the only team with such a strategy.

Steiner explains: “The original development plan for this year was to bring several upgrades to the track.

“But it eventually didn’t make sense because we didn’t find any performance. That’s why we didn’t bring them and that’s why we have the resources we need for this big development package now.”

As for the scathing Hulkenberg, he said he realised Haas was hitting a development dead-end “around the Austrian GP”.

“Other teams followed different technical concepts than us and were able to overtake us,” said the German.

Hulkenberg said he is now looking forward to the ‘B’ car, but said of the upgrades: “First they have to work”.

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